The role of technology in contemporary medicine has evolved considerably over the past decades. Computers and other high-tech devices are essential in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and private medical practices. Moreover, engineering breakthroughs have increased our fundamental insight into the functioning of the human body, tissue generation, and regeneration, physiological processes, and locomotion.

What's the Master of Biomedical Engineering about?

The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering provides students with a state-of-the-art overview of all areas in biomedical engineering:

  • Biomechanics
  • Biomaterials
  • Medical sensors and signal processing
  • Medical imaging
  • Tissue engineering

The teaching curriculum builds upon the top-class research conducted by the staff, most of whom are members of the Leuven Medical Technology Centre. This network facilitates industrial fellowships for our students and enables students to complete design projects and Master’s theses in collaboration with industry leaders and internationally recognized research labs.

Biomedical engineers are educated to integrate engineering and basic medical knowledge. This competence is obtained through coursework, practical exercises, interactive sessions, a design project and a Master’s thesis project.

Application deadline for 2018-2019

  • 1 March 2018 (for non-EEA citizens)
  • 1 June 2018 (for EEA citizens)

KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via www.kuleuven.be/application. Students with a Flemish degree can consult www.kuleuven.be/studentenadministratie.

Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for the current academic year is € 906.10 for EEA students and € 6,000 for non-EEA students. The tuition fee for the 2018-2019 academic year will be determined in the spring of 2018. Please consult the website for the most recent information: www.kuleuven.be/tuitionfees.

Structure

Three courses provide students with basic medical knowledge on anatomy and functions of the human body. The core of the program consists of biomedical engineering courses that cover the entire range of contemporary biomedical engineering: biomechanics, biomaterials, medical imaging, biosensors, biosignal processing, medical device design and regulatory affairs.

The elective courses have been grouped in four clusters: biomechanics and tissue engineering, medical devices, information acquisition systems, and Information processing software. These clusters allow the students to deepen their knowledge in one particular area of biomedical engineering by selecting courses from one cluster, while at the same time allowing other students to obtain a broad overview on the field of biomedical engineering by selecting courses from multiple clusters.

Students can opt for an internship which can take place in a Belgian company or in a medical technology center abroad.

Through the general interest courses, the student has the opportunity to broaden his/her views beyond biomedical engineering. These include courses on management, on communication (e.g. engineering vocabulary in foreign languages), and on the socio-economic and ethical aspects of medical technology.

A design project and a Master’s thesis familiarize the student with the daily practice of a biomedical engineer.

Common Core - Basic medical courses
- Medical Technology courses
48 credits
Elective courses - Biomechanics and tissue engineering
- Medical devices
- Information acquisition systems
- Information processing software
33 credits
General interest courses - Management
- Communication
- Broadening 9 credits
Project-based learning - Design in medical technology
- Master's thesis
33 credits

International

The Faculty of Engineering Science at KU Leuven is involved in several Erasmus exchange programs. For the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, this means that the student can complete one or two semesters abroad, at a number of selected universities.

An industrial fellowship is possible for three or six credits either between the Bachelor’s and the Master’s program or between the two phases of the Master’s program. Students are also encouraged to consider the fellowship and short courses offered by BEST (Board of European Students of Technology) or through the ATHENS program.

You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty.

Strengths

The program responds to a societal need, which translates into an industrial opportunity.

Evaluation of the program demonstrates that the objectives and goals are being achieved. The mix of mandatory and elective courses allows the student to become a generalist in Biomedical Engineering, but also to become a specialist in one topic; industry representatives report that graduates master a high level of skills, are flexible and integrate well in the companies.

Company visits expose all BME students to industry. Further industrial experience is available to all students.

Our international staff (mostly Ph.D. students) actively supports the courses taught in English, contributing to the international exposure of the program.

The Master’s program is situated in a context of strong research groups in the field of biomedical engineering. All professors incorporate research topics into their courses.

Most alumni have found a job within three months after graduation.

This is an initial Master's program and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Is this the right program for me?

The role of technology in contemporary medicine has evolved considerably over the past decades. Computers and other high-tech devices are essential in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and private medical practices. Moreover, engineering breakthroughs have increased our fundamental insight into the functioning of the human body, tissue generation, and regeneration, physiological processes, and locomotion. The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (BME) was created to respond to the increased technological needs in healthcare. These needs result, among others, from the aging population, the challenge to provide more and better care to fewer people and to obtain cost-effectiveness in our healthcare systems. Industry, government, hospitals and social insurance companies are in need of engineers with a specific training in the multidisciplinary domain of biomedical engineering. These engineers can integrate technological knowledge (e.g. in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and material sciences) with medical knowledge.

The ideal candidate has a broad technological background combining basic elements from mechanical and electrical engineering. The student has an interest in medicine and in the contributions of technology to medical treatments and to healthcare in general. By the end of the curriculum, the graduate will have acquired:

  • A basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry
  • The competence to translate engineering knowledge into the design and production of medical devices and processes
  • The competence to apply engineering knowledge for the advancement of science and technology, both in an academic context and in an industrial context
  • Management skills and skills to act as an integrator between engineering science and medical/clinical science and practice.

Career Paths

Biomedical engineering is a rapidly growing sector, evidenced by an increase in the number of jobs and businesses. The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering was created to respond to increased needs for healthcare in our society. These needs stem from an aging population and the systemic challenge to provide more and better care with less manpower and in a cost-effective way. Industry, government, hospitals and social insurance companies require engineers with specialized training in the multidisciplinary domain of biomedical engineering.

As a biomedical engineer, you'll play a role in the design and production of state-of-the-art biomedical devices and/or medical information technology processes and procedures. You will be able to understand medical needs and translate them into engineering requirements. In addition, you will be able to design medical devices and procedures that can effectively solve problems through their integration in clinical practice. For that purpose, you'll complete the program with knowledge of anatomy, physiology and human biotechnology and mastery of biomedical technology in areas such as biomechanics, biomaterials, tissue engineering, bio-instrumentation and medical information systems. The program will help strengthen your creativity, prepare you for life-long learning, and train you how to formalize your knowledge for efficient re-use.

Careers await you in the medical device industry R&D engineering, or as a production or certification specialist. Perhaps you'll end up with a hospital career (technical department), or one in government. The broad technological background that is essential in biomedical engineering also makes you attractive to conventional industrial sectors. Or you can continue your education by pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering; each year, several places are available thanks to the rapid innovation taking place in biomedical engineering and the increasing portfolio of approved research projects in universities worldwide.

Objectives

1. Competent in one or more scientific disciplines

1. Graduates know the structure and function of the human body (at the different hierarchical levels: cells, tissue, organs, and body) for the purpose of developing medical-technological products and processes that will be used in diagnostic and therapeutic applications. This insight into the functioning of the body refers to the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the neurological system and elements of the pulmonary, gastrointestinal and reproductive systems.

2. Graduates possess a broad and active (i.e., application-oriented) knowledge in biomedical technology. They are familiar with the conventional theories and have mastered the common experimental and numerical techniques in the following domains:

    • Biomechanics (musculoskeletal biomechanics and bio-fluid mechanics)
    • Biomaterials
    • Bio-instrumentation (sensors and actuators)
    • Medical information technology (medical signal analysis and image processing)

3. Graduates are able to apply their knowledge of the different interdisciplinary domains (medical and technological) in a creative way, expand it and integrate it in functional systems.

2. Competent in conducting research

4. Graduates are able to formulate research questions and translate these questions into a plan of action. In following this plan, they know how and when to adjust it.

5. Graduates are able to independently process and apply new insights, methodologies, and results within their own discipline as well as in related interdisciplinary fields. In doing this, they rely on interaction with and advice from experts in diverse technological disciplines and in medicine where necessary.

6. Based on their scientific knowledge, graduates are able to evaluate the correctness of research findings and the conclusions drawn from them.

3. Competent in designing

7. Graduates can apply design methodologies to real situations, leading to a functional product (object, software, procedure) that will be evaluated in function of design requirements.

8. Throughout the design process, graduates take the medical, technological, regulatory and economic boundary conditions into account, as well as the capabilities and limitations of the user of a medical-technological product (healthcare provider, patient, etc.).

9. Graduates are able to creatively and independently process and apply new insights, methodologies, and results within their discipline as well as in related interdisciplinary fields in order to design new medical-technological products.

4. A scientific approach

10. Graduates are capable of detaching themselves, when necessary, from the binding nature of the solution to a problem in order to look for long-term solutions and innovative ways of thinking that provide the employer with a strategic advantage in the long run. For that purpose, graduates possess a broad analytical, integrating and problem-solving mind and can combine knowledge from technical-scientific and medical-scientific domains.

11. Graduates have a positive, forward-looking attitude toward lifelong learning and are constantly seeking to improve their professional and scientific skills. They are able to critically select the most appropriate information sources (scientific literature, internet, workshops, conferences) and process the relevant pieces of information.

12. For this, they rely on a critical attitude with respect to the scientific literature, data, and their own findings.

13. Graduates assume a critically constructive position vis-a-vis all new relevant findings and developments they encounter in the academic literature and explore further through their own research. This implies that the graduates have developed the attitude to actively keep track of new developments and to integrate these into their professional activities. Given the interdisciplinary nature of medical technology, the graduate ideally keeps up with a wide range of technological disciplines and medical science to discover opportunities for integration.

5. Basic intellectual skills

14. Graduates can retrieve a multiplicity of complex information (from the scientific literature, own research findings and any already existing alternative solutions to similar and/or related problems), relate it to their own research question, analyze, interpret, and integrate the information and form a reasoned judgment on it.

6. Competent in collaboration and communication

15. Graduates possess a basic knowledge of management techniques to bring technical-scientific projects to a successful conclusion.

16. Graduates are able to function in a team and, when necessary, can take on the role of team leader.

17. Graduates are able to translate technical concepts to medical experts and to actively participate in discussions with medial and technical experts.

18. Graduates master the oral and body language needed to clearly and convincingly convey a message in their mother tongue as well as in English.

19. Graduates are able to write technical reports and scientific articles that meet international standards.

7. Takes the social and temporal context into account

20. Graduates are able to analyze the societal consequences (economic, social, ethical, environmental) of new developments in biomedical technology and integrate these in academic work. They are able to perform their professional activities in an international context and, to this end, have a sufficient mastery of the English language.

21. Graduates have a good understanding of their own role and responsibilities in relation to those of other actors in medicine and healthcare (healthcare providers, hospital managers, management of healthcare institutions, social security).

Further Studies

Direct:

  • Postgraduate Studies in Advanced Medical Imaging (Leuven)

When allowed:

  • Master of Welding Engineering (Sint-Katelijne-Waver)
Program taught in:
English

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Duration
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The tuition fee for the current academic year is € 906.10 for EEA students and € 6,000 for non-EEA students. The tuition fee for the 2018-2019 academic year will be determined in the spring of 2018.
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